Government & Legislation: The Last Week
Today (11 June 2007) the Government has published the figures for homelessness in England for the first quarter of 2007. They show that there were 17,230 acceptances under Housing Act 1996 Part 7, during the January - March quarter, 17 per cent lower than in the same period in 2006, and the lowest quarterly value since the early 1980s. For the full figures click here
To coincide with the release of the figures, the Government has announced that 27 local authorities and partnerships would receive investment from a £500,000 fund for their plans to reduce youth homelessness ranging from crash pads for teenagers to supported lodgings and a text message service offering housing options. For the details click here
On 6 June 2007 the findings of the latest English House Condition Survey were released. The Survey found that while over the past 9 years the number of non-decent homes had fallen from over 9 million to about 6 million, 41% of homes in the private sector were still failing the decent homes standard. For the details click here
On 5 June 2007 the House of Commons debated Social Housing and the National Mobility Scheme following the demise of the Government's scheme - Move UK - and the difficulties arising from the ending of the HOMES national mobility scheme. For the Hansard report click here and scroll down
On the same day, a Westminster Hall debate focused on the issues surrounding implementation of new controls on houses in multiple occupation. For the Hansard report click here and scroll down
Last Week's Cases
Omar v Birmingham CC, Court of Appeal, 7 June 2007 (Noted on LAWTEL). The council owed the appellant the main homelessness duty in s193 Housing Act 1996. It made an offer of council accommodation. When that was refused, it said that its duty had been discharged. The appellant took the point that the offer letter did not include the words required by s193(7A) i.e. it did not state that it was "a final offer for the purposes of subsection (7)". The Court of Appeal held that the precise rubric need not be used provided that the offer letter actually conveyed the point that it was a final offer of suitable accommodation. Alternatively, the offer could be construed as being made under s193(5) and the failure to accept it had brought the duty to an end.
Segal v Pasram  All ER (D) 35 (Jun), Chancery Division, 7 June 2007. A husband and wife jointly bought a home. In 1999 the husband transferred his share to his wife for £1000 on terms that she would not pursue a claim for ancillary relief against him in her intended divorce proceedings. In 2000 he was made bankrupt. The trustee in bankruptcy successfully applied to set aside the transaction. The High Court decided that the couple had owned the house in equal shares and that the transfer had been at an undervalue. The benefit of the husband's half-interest passed to the trustee.
Seminars this week
14 June 2007: Private Law Possession Proceedings and Public Law Defences: How do they work? (repeat). Garden Court Chambers evening seminar. Click Here to book a place. This is a free seminar
17 June 2007: How to run a Housing Judicial Review: A HLPA Intermediate training Seminar. For details click here
21 June 2007: Eligibility for Social Welfare Assistance (repeat) Garden Court Chambers evening seminar. Click Here to book a place.